Welcome to The Oak!

The Oak is an online newsletter-website for sharing content among the Arts and Sciences Community of the SCA Kingdom of Atlantia. Our focus is pre-1600CE era history from all around the world. Contributions are welcome from anyone supporting the Society for Creative Anachronism. Please see the Contributions Guidelines for details.

Most recent articles are published below in the center. To the left are options for finding previous articles according to category or tag.



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Most Recent Articles

  • Electronic A&S Documentation, Display, & More
    By Doña Mariana Ruiz de Medina One of the beauties of The Oak in its electronic form is that it brings so much more accessibility in the world of online and digital A&S. The Oak wants to encourage as many people to participate in A&S as possible and to that end, The Editor hopes this…
  • The Big Art History Behind a Big Scroll
    Curious how the study of art history can deepen both scrollwork and the wider SCA experience? Check out our newest article, where Hlāford Bran Mydwynter discusses his thorough and thoughtful writeup of Meisterin Kolfinna Valravn’s Laurel scroll.
  • Interchangeable Components of Late 15th Century English Bonnets
    By Aymée Jocelyne of Bright Hills Executive Summary I built a round bonnet, a pointed bonnet, and a gabled bonnet, from the reign of Henry VII.  I built the bonnets out of separate components, and then assembled them with pins.  This allows me to swap the various components and obtain dramatically different looks with only…
  • Spoon Carving
    by Lady Ava Deinhardt (MKA Hannah Wells) The Process: From Billet to Spoon Materials Used:  Hand strength and knife safety are crucial for the hand carving process. For safety, I recommend carving wearing a pair of cut-proof gloves; they drastically reduce the chance for most slip injuries. Maintaining sharp edges on all carving tools is…
  • We’re all in this together: Ethical Research and Documentation for SCAdians
    By The Honorable Lady Gwenhwyfar Weale Since joining the SCA I’ve come to realize that one of the most fraught topics in the Arts and Sciences community revolves around how to effectively research and communicate findings with others through competition, display, and publication. It is my intention to provide you, dear reader, with some thoughts…
  • A brief history of western cryptography through the Middle Ages
     By Melchior zum grauen Wolf, OP  (mka Kevin Baun)  Alberti cipher. (2024, January 9). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberti_cipher  The Oxford dictionary defines the word cipher as “a secret or disguised way of writing”. A cipher  is overt, it doesn’t try to hide that it is a cipher. The job of a cipher isn’t to disguise information …
  • Outfitting an Equine (namely Bingo: The Clothes Horse)
    by Epy Pengelly, Armiger Photo by Tim Baird At the Barony of Stierbach’s Holiday Faire 2023, The Honorable Lady Arielle de Pontoise taught an edifying class “The Elegant Equine: Garbing Your Horse with Style”. THL Arielle has been in the SCA for over 30 years, and has made about a dozen different outfits for various…
  • A Torte of Domestic Pumpkin without a Shell or Crustless Pumpkin Cheese Torte
    By Maîtresse Scholastica Joycors This recipe comes from the famous Italian chef Bartolomeo Scappi – Opera di Bartolomeo Scappi (1570). This desert is a cross between a cheesecake and a crustless pumpkin pie it is heavily spiced and delightful to eat with some freshly whipped creme. Bartolomeo Scappi (1500 to 1577 A.D.) was a famous…
  • Adding salt during the soap-making process to make potassium hydroxide soaps harder
    By Matthew of Summerdale I took a class on saponification at the Summer 2023 Atlantian University by Lucia de Moranza from Ealdormere.  Taking this class led me to start to do some soap making.  While I have started with modern soap making methods and processes, I have started looking at period soap making.  One technique…
  • Five Minute Art History: Gleaning Style
    By Hlaford Bran Mydwynter Our concept of “style” didn’t coalesce until the Renaissance. However, when you’re making something based on historical artwork, it’s helpful to be able to glean its style to better capture the true spirit of the original. But that’s a skill developed over time, and there’s no shortcut. Which is why I’ve…

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